NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. To achieve this mission, NIH invests in research to improve public health; it also devotes substantial resources to identify, develop, support, and maintain key scientific resources, including human capital. NIH’s ability to ensure that it remains a leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of creative, diverse, and highly talented researchers.
The vast majority of the work in developing and implementing biomedical workforce research programs is conducted by dedicated staff within the Offices, Institutes, and Centers at the NIH. The interests of each Institute/Center are represented by NIH training staff who meet regularly to advise DBRW and the broader NIH community. It’s a good idea to contact the NIH training staff in your research area of interest to discuss research programs and strategies for training and career development. An initial inquiry via email is recommended so that NIH staff may identify relevant materials and set up a mutually convenient time to talk.
The United States biomedical research workforce comprises individuals with earned degrees employed in a variety of career sectors, including research and teaching in colleges and universities, research in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industrial settings, research in government laboratories, as well as non-research intensive scientific careers including science policy and regulation, and science communications that contribute to the nation’s scientific goals and endeavors. NIH seeks to broaden participation by recruitment and outreach to groups shown to be nationally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Women may also be considered underrepresented for the purposes of programs that address faculty recruitment, appointment, retention, or advancement. Information and resources on enhancing diversity in the NIH-funded biomedical research workforce can be found on the NIH extramural diversity page, and The Diversity Program Consortium, and on the Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity (SWD) page.
The NIH Common Fund has initiated pilots to test programs relevant to the biomedical research workforce including enhancing diversity in the biomedical research workforce (The NIH Diversity Consortium) and exposure to multiple careers in addition to academic research and teaching (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training).
For current information on the workforce, please see Reports and Data on the Biomedical Research Workforce.
NIH works with leadership and faculty at educational institutions, grantees, professional societies, research organizations, and other stakeholders to identify, recruit, and train highly talented scientists from all backgrounds and all career levels. Here are links to some groups working on the future biomedical research workforce:
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Graduate Research, Education and Training (GREAT)
- Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Research Advancement and Development (GRAND)
- Association of American Universities
- Association of Public & Land-grant Universities
- Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education (CoSTEM)
- Council of Graduate Schools
- Council on Governmental Relations
- FC-STEM Interagency Working Groups
- Federal Demonstration Partnership
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- National Postdoctoral Association
Each year, the Office of Extramural Research (OER) sponsors the NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration. These seminars are intended to provide guidance on the NIH grant application and review process, clarify Federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The seminars contribute to the NIH mission of providing education and training for the next generation of biomedical and behavioral scientists. NIH policy, grants management, review and program staff provide a broad array of expertise and encourage personal interaction between themselves and seminar participants. The seminars are appropriate for grants administrators, researchers new to NIH, postdocs and graduate students. For more information and to find upcoming seminars, please see http://grants.nih.gov/news/contact-in-person/seminars.htm.